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24 October 2009 / April

So, fun story about this morning…

This is one of those quintessentially collegiate stories. Except normally when the protagonist sleeps in and has to go running out in the pouring rain without a jacket or an umbrella or breakfast, she’s en route to a class with some cranky professor and not a brilliant math talk that starts ten minutes late anyway.

On a related note, Mission Hill is a lot more brutal when you’re running up it and you got up five minutes ago.

The talk by Prof. Ed Burger was totally and completely worth the effort (and wetness) though.  He’s kind of awesome.

It was one of those talks that don’t really teach you anything radically new (unless you didn’t know much about stochasticity and the sheer overwhelming awesomeness of mathematics and such), but is so amusing and engaging and well-presented that you have to love it.  There was a little math involved, but the crux of the talk was the importance of learning math, and the more important importance of learning how to think mathematically, which is something I whole-heartedly agree with.

And Prof. Burger is a very funny guy.  At one point there was a lady making some noise opening a window outside the lecture hall.  Which was actually a pretty poor idea, since it was cold and raining outside, but at any rate.  He went to the stage door and told her kindly, “Excuse me, I’m giving a lecture…”  She explained that she was just trying to give him some air, to which he cheerfully replied, “Oh, that’s alright, I don’t need air.”

He then returned to the stage and announced, “Good news: the financial crisis has lifted slightly and we can now afford air!”

Goal number two for my Williams career: take a class from Prof. Burger.

Afterward I ran back to Mission, which was slightly more tolerable because I was heading downhill and I had borrowed one of Ben’s jackets.  (Why he had two, I am not entirely certain.)  But it was still pouring rain.  Is still pouring rain.  And I was still hungry.  Am still hungry.

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